Brent Simon, President of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), announced the award winners for the LAFCA’s 2011 awards. The Best Picture of the Year honor was given to “The Descendants,” with the runner-up being “The Tree of Life”. According to the release, director Alexander Payne’s win for “The Descendants” represents his seventh award from LAFCA. He has also won Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay (shared) for “Sideways,” and Best Picture and Best Screenplay (shared) for “About Schmidt.” He has also shared the New Generation award with writer Jim Taylor in 1999 for his work on “Election” and “Citizen Ruth.”

“I think the diversity of the slate of our winners indicates the fact that there are a broad range of films this year that struck a chord with critics, in various ways,” said Simon, according to the press release. “In particular, our selections of Yun Jung-Hee’s lead performance for ‘Poetry’ and Asghar Farhadi’s screenplay for ‘A Separation’ show LAFCA’s continuing commitment to looking beyond its borders for the best performances and films of the year.”

The 37th annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association awards ceremony will be held Friday, January 13. The event will also include Doris Day receiving the 2011 Career Achievement Awards.

Below are this year’s winners:

DIRECTOR: Terrence Malick, “The Tree of Life”

ACTOR: Michael Fassbender, “A Dangerous Method,” “Jane Eyre,” “Shame,” “X-Men: First Class”

Runner-up: Michael Shannon, “Take Shelter”

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Jessica Chastain, “Coriolanus,” “The Debt,” “The Help,” “Take Shelter,” “Texas Killing Fields,” “Tree of Life”

SCREENPLAY: Asghar Farhadi, “A Separation”

Runner-up: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, “The Descendants”

Runner-Up: “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn”

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: “City of Life and Death”

DOCUMENTARY / NON-FICTION FILM: “Cave of Forgotten Dreams”

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Emmanuel Lubezki, “The Tree of Life”

Runner-up: Cao Yu, “City of Life and Death”

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Dante Ferretti, “Hugo”

Runner-up: Maria Djurkovic, “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”

The Chemical Brothers, “Hanna”

Antonio Campos, Sean Durkin, Josh Mond, Elizabeth Olsen, “Martha Marcy May Marlene”

“Spark of Being”

Along with Payne’s record wins, “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” cements Werner Herzog’s second LAFCA prize for documentary/nonfiction film. He previously won in 2005 for “Grizzly Man.” Also, this is Emmanuel Lubezki’s second LAFCA prize for cinematography. He previously won in 2006 for “Children of Men.” This year also is the first time LAFCA has awarded its screenplay award to a foreign-language film.

The Tree of Life

By Monique Jones

Monique Jones blogs about race and culture in entertainment, particularly movies and television. You can read her articles at Racialicious, and her new site, COLOR . You can also listen to her new podcast, What would Monique Say.

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